Customs corruption affects PH business, Gordon says

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2018 06:16 AM | Updated as of Sep 15 2019 04:30 PM

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MANILA - Senator Richard Gordon said Thursday that the corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) affects the ease of doing business in the Philippines.

"Humihina ang negosyo ng Pilipinas dahil ang daming sinisingil," he said after the Senate inquiry into the P6.8-billion "shabu" haul that allegedly slipped past port inspections.

Gordon also said that more high officials in Customs could be involved in illegal activities, if dismissed police officer Eduardo Acierto would talk.

"Acierto has not talked enough. I think if Acierto talks, meron pang high officials, higher than him, na nakakaalam itong nangyayaring ito," he said.

Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, who will become a state witness, implicated Acierto in the alleged drug shipments.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier named Acierto as the leader of a group involved in illegal drug trade. 

As chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee currently investigating the incident, one of Gordon's recommendations is to conduct a lifestyle check of all the people involved.

The senator also said that Customs should be strict in using "consignees for hire," which traffickers used to smuggle illegal drugs in the country.

Personnel manning x-ray machines should also be changed regularly, he said.

"Gusto ko hindi dapat tumagal ng 3 buwan sa posisyon. Dahil walang matibay diyan eh. Tutuksuhin ka ng tutuksihin," he said.